FAQs

Q?

How can I prepare for my trip?

A.

People don’t usually plan to fail, they simply fail to plan! In most cases, you will not be going alone on your missions trip, but with a group, and teamwork is key! Getting along with the group and being able to work together will affect your overall experience in so many different ways. It is so important to meet at least weekly for prayer, planning, and bonding.

Q?

How much is this trip going to cost me?

A.

Naturally, each trip will vary in cost because of varying factors. However, some of the regular expenses that need to be taken into consideration and added into your overall cost for the trip are as listed:

  1. Airfare and other transportation costs
  2. Food (which can be handled in many different ways)
  3. Rental fees and fuel for vehicles and housing
  4. Exit fees for leaving your host country
  5. Passport and visa fees
  6. Money for projects such as construction, or for literature, Bibles, videos, etc.
  7. Money for special offerings, personal shopping, or personal needs
  8. International insurance fee
  9. $35 TCCI registration fee

 

Q?

What about immunizations?

A.

Immunizations will vary according to the country you wish to enter. We recommend that you check with the Center for Disease Control for information on what types of immunizations are needed in the country you choose to enter. You may visit their web page at www.cdc.gov/travel/ or simply go there by clicking on “Health Hints” on our web page.

For Mexico and Guatemala (and most other places), you will need to have had a tetanus booster within the past ten years. Some doctors recommend preventative antibiotics before and during the trip. It is also strongly suggested that you get a hepatitis A shot. These can be obtained from certain health centers and county health departments. An appointment is usually needed, and usually booked far out, as fewer places now offer this vaccine, so plan ahead. There is more than one type of this vaccine available; however, it is recommended that you obtain the newest form of this vaccine, taken in two stages, which is good for life. The other forms are of a more temporary nature. IMPORTANT NOTICE: the hepatitis vaccine requires at least 30 days to take full effect in your body. Make sure you arrange to get yours a month in advance or it will do you no good! There are other immunizations that also require some lead time to take effect. In all of these health matters, it is important that you talk to your doctor or the local health department for specifics. Your health is very important – take the time to get informed!

Q?

What about food?

A.

There are two things we want to do when it comes to eating in other countries:

1. We want to stay as healthy as we can and avoid sickness caused by what we eat.
2. We want to be sensitive to the people we’re visiting and avoid offending them through our eating habits.

Here are some tips to help you with this:

Bring snacks, purchase bottled water after you arrive (in most countries), and of course you may drink sodas or canned or bottled drinks. Use bottle water for brushing your teeth and do not use ice cubes unless they too were made from purified water. It is generally safe to eat fruit, which is peeled, but it’s good to wash it in pure water first.

When traveling in ministry, the churches may prepare meals for you. It would be impolite to refuse to eat their home-cooked meals. You must be careful about your facial expressions and what you say among yourselves. Remember, you are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. The Bible says we are to eat what is set before us (Luke 10:7). If we pray and give thanks to God for it, He will bless and sanctify it for our use (I Tim. 4:4).

Q?

Culture shock.

A.

What is this phenomenon, and what should we do about it?

It happens simply because things are so different from what you’re accustomed to back home. In many of the places you visit, you’ll find that the people live in great poverty. The roads and means of communication are often not nearly as sophisticated and efficient as what we have. You may feel frustrated because of this. You may tend to criticize or compare to what you’re used to back home. This is normal – but watch out!

There are some things you need to be careful about in the midst of this “shocking” experience!

1. Be careful not to judge people! Jesus commanded us not to do this (Matthew 7:1). Often our tendency is to take pride in what God has given us, as if we have done it or made it all ourselves. In other countries things may not be on our high level of material and technical sophistication. This does not mean, however, that the people there are less valuable as human beings, or that we have nothing to learn from them!

2. Don’t get caught in the comparison trap! We are all made in the image of God, and there is something in every individual and every culture that reflects His glory in some form or fashion.

3. Be careful not to force your own values upon the culture to whom you’re ministering! We certainly don’t want to accept things in other cultures that are unbiblical or ungodly. And we do very much want to share with the people the “new culture” of biblical Christianity. But sometimes we can confuse our own ways with gospel essentials, and this is not a good practice! It is important to make a separation between the outer form things take and their inner essence. It’s not the “outer form” of their church government style or their views on certain political issues that is important. We have not come to change all that. We have come to bring the good news of Christ and to offer our service to them in His name. They must follow Him as obedient servants and disciples in their own cultural context – they’re not called to become just like us!

Q?

How can I maximize my impact in the ministry country?

A.

1. Saturate everything you do with prayer.
2. Make sure that you understand the importance of your personal witness. 3. Do whatever you do with excellence!
4. Always work under the authority of the missionaries or local leaders.
5. Go as a servant.